C40 2019 Annual Report - Message by Mark Watts

Read the C40 2019 Annual Report

The following text is taken from the Welcome Message from Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities in C40's 2019 Annual Report.

“Globally, greenhouse gas emissions need to halve by 2030 and cities are showing it is possible.”

Bringing together 96 cities representing more than 700 million people and one-quarter of the global economy, C40 was founded by mayors, for mayors, to take ambitious climate action. C40 is now leading the charge for a Global Green New Deal — a series of essential steps to cut emissions, invest in clean energy, protect our natural resources, and ensure a just transition for all, and particularly the most disadvantaged.

We have seen great progress over the last year, but as the climate crisis deepens C40 cities’ action needs to step up further. As our new Chair, Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, said: “When it comes to climate action, no one is doing more than cities, but nobody is doing enough. The 2020s will be a make-or-break decade for the survival of our environment and the strength of our economy, and I have no doubt that C40 will stand front and center in the battle to build a more sustainable, inclusive future for every worker and family in every community around the world.”

Mayor Garcetti took over as C40 Chair from Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, in December 2019. “Being the first woman C40 Chair was a great honor,” said Mayor Hidalgo. “During this time, we strived to put people back at the centre of the decision-making process and give voice to the voiceless. United and all together, we will achieve the Paris Agreement goals. As of today, cities are now recognised as leading actors to defend climate and social justice in the world”.

This report sets out C40’s achievements in 2019. This was a monumental year in which we saw the accelerated steps C40 cities are taking to reduce emissions and climate risks. C40 continued to lead globally with agenda-setting declarations and events, not least the C40 World Mayors Summit, and continued to support cities in removing barriers to bold action.

The science is clear. We need to act faster and with more urgency to avoid a climate breakdown. Fortunately, C40 cities are already delivering climate action that can help secure a healthy, prosperous and equitable future for all.